Rodney McMillian Awarded Inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize

Rodney McMillian, ‘Origins,’ acrylic, tempera and vinyl on canvas, 88 in. × 63 1/2in., 2013. | Photo courtesy Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects 223.5 × 161.3 cm

The Contemporary Austin in Texas has awarded its inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize to CalArts alumnus Rodney McMillian (Art MFA 02).

McMillian receives an unrestricted $100,000 award, as well as a solo exhibition at the museum’s downtown Austin venue, the Jones Center, slated to open in Feb. 2018. He also has the option of extending that exhibition to the museum’s 14-acre outdoor site, the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.

“An award such as this can enable an artist to reimagine what is possible for one’s practice or one’s self,” says McMillian in a press release. “In some cases, it could actually be a lifeline. I am very honored and thrilled to be a recipient.”

Senior Curator Heather Pesanti says, “It’s been an incredible learning experience to be part of laying the groundwork and process for the inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize. The opportunity that the prize and its correlated resources present to the artist have the potential to be immeasurable and profound. Rodney is at the perfect moment in his career for this prize, an artist who has been well exhibited and respected in the field, but for whom the resources provided through this opportunity will ideally be a catalyst for new paths in his work.”

McMillian is a Los Angeles-based sculptor, painter and performance and video artist. His work explores boundaries demarcating class, economic status, culture and their relationship to the physicality of the human body.

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